I am definitely hoping that Phillip seymour hoffmann's death isn't sucked into yet another iteration of the drug war. This has happened before. when Len Bias, a basketball player, died of a crack overdose under Bush i, giving that senile oligarch the perfect opportunity to up his popularity and overcome his wimpness by various acts of violence - panama, one strike you are out laws, etc.. To that death, thousands, hundreds of thousands of mostly black lives have been sacrificed as the new version of american apartheid, the penal system, reinstituted Jim Crow in a way we could all be comfortable with, getting on with our lives of humanitarian intervention and boycotting Israel and shit - fun stuff that allows us not to look at what has been happening in fortress america, But I digress... I am already seeing signs of a pumped up moral panic. For instance, this nyt article about heroin, which incidentally tells us that the heroin death toll is dwarfed by the deaths from painkillers - in other words, the legal pills generated by Big Pharma. I'm sensing the production of a groundswell to jail dealers - but not of course corporate heads, like the head of Purdue Pharma, which has paid doctors to conduct pediatric trials of their oxycontin drug, which is facing a huge crisis - the patent for it is ending.
Here is a stat that is buried in the NYT story:
The most recent federal data show 19,154 opioid drug deaths in 2010, with 3,094 involving heroin and the rest painkillers.
If we want to do something about drug abuse, how about going against the corporate pushers?